Emma Watson Pussy
War And Peace
him by his shoulders and legs, but
he moaned piteously and, exchanging looks, they set him down again.
"Pick him up, lift him, its all the same!" cried someone.
They again took him by the shoulders and laid him on the stretcher.
"Ah, God! My God! What is it? The stomach? That means death! My
God!"--voices among the officers were heard saying.
"It flew a hairs breadth past my ear," said the adjutant.
The peasants, adjusting the stretcher to their shoulders, started
hurriedly along the path they had trodden down, to the dressing
"Keep in step! Ah... those peasants!" shouted an officer, seizing by
their shoulders and checking the peasants, who were walking unevenly
and jolting the stretcher.
"Get into step, Fedor... I say, Fedor!" said the foremost peasant.
"Now thats right!" said the one behind joyfully, when he had got
"Your excellency! Eh, Prince!" said the trembling voice of Timokhin,
who had run up and was looking down on the stretcher.
Prince Andrew opened his eyes and looked up at the speaker from
the stretcher into which his head had sunk deep and again his
The militiamen carried Prince Andrew to the dressing station by the
wood, where wagons were stationed. The dressing station consisted of
three tents with flaps turned back, pitched at the edge of a birch
wood. In the wood, wagons and horses were standing. The horses were
eating oats from their movable troughs and sparrows flew down and
pecked the grains that fell. Some crows, scenting blood, flew among
the birch trees cawing impatiently. Around the tents, over more than
five acres, bloodstained men in various garbs stood, sat, or lay.
Around the wounded stood crowds of soldier stretcher-bearers with
dismal and attentive faces, whom the officers keeping order tried in
vain to drive from the spot. Disregarding the officers orders, the
soldiers stood leaning against their stretchers and gazing intently,
as if trying to comprehend the difficult problem of what was taking
place before them. From the tents came now loud angry cries and now
plaintive groans. Occasionally dressers ran out to fetch water, or
to point out those who were to be brought in next. The wounded men
awaiting their turn outside the tents groaned, sighed, wept, screamed,
swore, or asked for vodka. Some were delirious. Prince Andrews
bearers, stepping over the wounded who had not yet been bandaged, took
him, as a regimental commander, close up to one of the tents and there
stopped, awaiting instructions. Prince Andrew opened his eyes and
for a long time could not make out what was going on around him. He
remembered the meadow, the wormwood, the field, the whirling black
ball, and his sudden rush of passionate love of life. Two steps from
him, leaning against a branch and talking loudly and attracting
general attention, stood a tall, handsome, black-haired
noncommissioned officer with a bandaged head. He had been wounded in
the head and leg by bullets. Around him, eagerly listening to his
talk, a crowd of wounded and stretcher-bearers was gathered.
"We kicked him out from there so that he chucked everything, we
grabbed the King himself!" cried he, looking around him with eyes that
glittered with fever. "If only reserves had come up just then, lads,
there wouldnt have been nothing left of him! I tell you surely..."
Like all the others near the speaker, Prince Andrew looked at him
with shining eyes and experienced a sense of comfort. "But isnt it
all the same now?" thought he. "And what will be there, and what has
there been here? Why was I so reluctant to part with life? There was
something in this life I did not and do not understand."
One of the doctors came out of the tent in a bloodstained apron,
holding a cigar between the thumb and little finger of one of his
small bloodstained hands, so as not to smear it. He raised his head
and looked about him, but above the level of the wounded men. He
evidently wanted a little respite. After turning his head from right
to left for some time, he sighed and looked down.
"All right, immediately," he replied to a dresser who pointed Prince
Andrew out to him, and he told them to carry him into the tent.
Murmurs arose among the wounded who were waiting.
"It seems that even in the next world only the gentry are to have
a chance!" remarked one.
Prince Andrew was carried in and laid on a table that had only
just been cleared and which a dresser was washing down.
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